KBL develops young talent

Jarrow-based commercial catering equipment service company KBL Technical has hired four students from Gateshead College.

The firm will be joined by plumbing apprentices Sam Kilburn and Christopher Gregorick, bolstering its maintenance team. Furthermore Ryan Thirlwell and James Lakey will embark on an apprenticeship in electrical engineering.

KBL services and maintains commercial catering equipment such as cooking ranges, refrigerators and microwaves, and is a Rational service partner.

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The company has a track record of developing young talent through apprenticeships, having taken on Gateshead College student Bradley Brown as a plumbing apprentice in 2012. Currently five of the company’s 16-strong team of staff are apprentices.

All four students will study at Gateshead College for one day a week during their three-year apprenticeships, which will give them practical skills and a firm grounding in the theory of plumbing and electrical maintenance.

Nic Brown, managing director at KBL, said: “Sam, Christopher, Ryan and James came from Gateshead College with a good basic knowledge of the industry and they will pick up further skills during their time with us.

“Apprenticeships aren’t just for the bigger companies. They are a cost-effective way for small firms to train their workforce to a high standard and make their business more competitive.”

Chris Toon, deputy principal at Gateshead College, said: “It’s great that SMEs such as KBL are backing apprenticeships, which can be adapted and redesigned to suit the needs of individual businesses. I’m confident that the four students will add value to the business as they acquire new skills and develop a better understanding of the industry they’re in.”

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